First, I appreciate the Independent‘s coverage of Friday’s Title IX celebration at the courthouse. (“Jumping Fences and Gender Barriers”). As I read the story online, I was thrilled by the newspaper’s coverage of the event, including Title IX’s backstory (Representative Patsy Mink), and overall, what I had hoped to see in print.

However, the last two paragraphs, not. The closing sections inserted male transgender issues into an article about female athletes, the obstacles they faced, and woman’s rightful place in elite sports today. The trans angle had no place in the Title IX story.

The two paragraphs looked to have been clipped on, reading as though they were a political disclaimer to remind your most liberal readers where the Independent stands on transgenderism. Even the tone and language were quite different from the story’s body that celebrated women’s sports within an important moment in American history.

I was disheartened. Friday was one day — one day — set aside to honor women and girls. Just two hours to celebrate the 1972 civil rights legislation that opened so many doors to girls and women, doors that in some cases remain shuttered. At age seventy, I retain memories of what everyday life was for young women back in the ’60s, ’70s, and heck, even going into the ’80s! It was tough. There were too many “no”s to our collective dreams, and denied for no reason aside from the fact that we were born female.

Today, women face a new hurdle, one that is insurmountable: males in female sports.

I intentionally kept transgender politics out of Friday’s event. We made no reference to transgenderism in our press releases and flyers. I was meticulous. We wanted the day to be about women and girls. Women and what the best among us have achieved since 1972. And what Title IX allowed for all girls, regardless of physical gifts — simply the opportunity to play the sport of their choosing and for fun.

At Friday’s event, Coach Jaylon Letendre reported what her flag-football players would be greeted with as the girls walked onto the field, and as recently as last year: “Why are they here?”

Now, it’s “Get out of my way.”

The article closed not with a reflection about American women, but with the focus on boys. Yet again.


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